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SE2129 Fracture Mechanics and Fatigue 9.0 credits

The course covers theories for design of structures containing cracks

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
Headings with content from the Course syllabus SE2129 (Spring 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course covers phenomenological theories for fracture in solids containing sharp cracks and conventional fatigue theory for life span predictions, and how to apply this knowledge in the design of engineering structures.

Intended learning outcomes

The loss of functionality of engineering structures typically occurs by failure due to instabilities or to cracking. The latter case is controlled by growth of cracks that nucleate or by growth of existing cracks to a critical size. The critical size is governed by the toughness of the material and the type of loading, which may vary or just increase in time. The strong development of both analytical and numerical methods now makes it possible for engineers to analyse structures with defects such as cracks and to predict critical loads or life span. The course aims at giving a fundamental understanding of material failure by cracking and operational skills in to assess defect structures.

After the course, the participants should be able to

  • Identify and describe different failure mechanisms in materials and engineering structures.
  • Explain how a crack affects an engineering structure and describe the state of stress and strain that may arise in the vicinity of a crack front in different materials.
  • Apply different methods to calculate the crack driving force in linear and nonlinear materials and formulate appropriate fracture criteria for stationary and growing cracks in such materials.
  • Evaluate fracture toughness data for stationary and growing cracks from linear and nonlinear fracture tests.
  • Evaluate crack growth data for materials subjected to cyclic loading in a fatigue test.
  • Examine whether a crack will grow in a stable or unstable manner.
  • Describe and explain the theoretical background of linear and nonlinear fracture mechanics.
  • Analyse well defined fracture mechanics problems for both linear and nonlinear materials subjected to both monotonic and cyclic loading.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

The course requires the knowedge from a basic course such as SE1010, SE1020 or SE1055. The content corresponding to the course SE1025 FEM for engineering aplications is expected as known.

Recommended prerequisites

SE1010, SE1020 or SE1055 Solid mechanics basic course and
SE1025 FEM for engineering applications


No information inserted


Nilsson, F. Fracture Mechanics from theory to applications, Hållfasthetslära, KTH, 1999.

Faleskog, J. and Nilsson, F., Examples in fracture mechanics, Hållfasthetslära, KTH, 2014.

Formelsamling i Hållfasthetslära, 11:e upplagan, Hållfasthetslära, KTH, 2014 (Svensk utgåva) eller Handbook of Solid Mechanics, Hållfasthetslära, 2010 (English Edition).


Ted L. Anderson, Fracture mechanics: Fundamentals and applications, 4th Ed., 2017, CRC Press.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • HEM1 - Home Assignment, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • LAB3 - Labotary Work, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN3 - Examination, 5.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Passed homework (HEM1; 3 credits)
Passed laboratory (LAB3; 1 credits)
Passed written exam (TEN3; 5 credits)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture Jonas Faleskog

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web SE2129

Offered by

SCI/Solid Mechanics

Main field of study

Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

Advanced courses in solid mechanics.

Supplementary information

The course is replaced with SE2139 Fracture mechanics, 6 credits, and SE2137 Fatigue, 6 credits.